New Year’s Greetings from the Consul General of the Consular Office of Japan n Portland

A Happy New Year to everyone! For me, this will be my first New Year since arriving in Portland last April. I look forward to continuing to work together in 2017!
The eight months since my arrival feel as if they have flown by but during that time I have had the opportunity to meet with people from various fields and a large number of Japanese citizens residing here, as well as to make the acquaintance of many people living throughout our jurisdiction of Oregon and Southern Idaho. Through my interactions with all of these people I realize and am reminded daily that the connections between Japan and the United States are both deep and wide.
The relationship between Japan and the State of Oregon has well over one hundred years of history, dating back to the first Japanese people who immigrated here. Even now we can hear the stories of the nissei who are still with us; stories of childhood, of times during and after World War II, and I consider myself very fortunate to have the opportunity to hear these important stories and this living history.
There are currently more than 130 Japanese companies operating in Oregon making valuable contributions to the local economy and, in conjunction with the growing interest in Japan toward Portland and the State of Oregon, many more companies are looking toward the future of this area and conducting research with a mind toward moving here. This is a trend that I very much welcome. Additionally, there are 22 Sister-city relationships between Oregon and Japan and just in the eight months since my arrival I have been blessed with the opportunity to witness many vital and vibrant exchange activities. I am encouraged by these so-called grassroots level exchanges that make an important contribution toward promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the citizens of Japan and the United States and I am very grateful for the continued efforts of the devoted people on both sides who make these connections possible.
This month a new administration will come to power in Washington D.C. We hope and expect that the new U.S.-Japan relationship will be even stronger, built upon the stable foundation we have in place. For our part, together with your help, we will work to promote friendship, goodwill and mutual understanding between Japan and the United States and we ask for your continued guidance and support.
I hope that the coming year will be a happy and beneficial one for you all.

Kojiro Uchiyama
Consul General
Consular Office of Japan in Portland